Tax Court Remands Revaluation Order
In Mount Laurel Twp. v. Burlington County Board of Taxation, __ N.J. Tax __ (December 15, 2009) (Approved for Publication in N.J. Tax Reports) the New Jersey Tax Court remanded an appeal from a revaluation order by the Burlington County Tax Board. Mount Laurel Township appealed the board’s order for a municipal-wide revaluation. Both the board and the township moved for summary judgment. The record consisted solely of the board’s order which contained limited information regarding the average ratio of assessed values, and did not indicate whether the board considered the ten criteria for revaluation required by N.J.A.C. 18:12A-1.14(b). Nor did the record indicate any other reason for the revaluation order. In denying both motions for summary judgment, the Tax Court found that the record was not sufficient to determine whether the board’s order was reasonable. The Tax Court held that it must know the facts upon which the board relied before rendering a decision as to whether the revaluation order was reasonable. Because the board’s order failed to disclose the reasons for the revaluation, the Tax Court held that remand is appropriate so that the board may make a record of its factual and legal conclusions.
This opinion indicates that the Tax Court is not likely to give rubber stamp approval to procedural decisions by local County Tax Boards, and will require that administrative procedures be followed when a county board orders a municipal revaluation.